The No. 2 executive at the CBS Station Group, Tony Vinciquerra, is ankling the group amid rumblings of more possible changes to come.
Vinciquerra was named executive vice president of the station group in December 1995, and last June, he relocated from New York to Los Angeles, adding KCBS to his duties and essentially becoming the top CBS station exec on the West Coast.
Vinciquerra said he has been unhappy working for a media giant, and he is now exploring “a number of interesting opportunities” in New York and Los Angeles.
“I feel really uncomfortable in a huge company like this,” Vinciquerra told Daily Variety. “I enjoyed running stations and smaller companies.”
Prior to joining CBS, Vinciquerra was VP-general manager of Westinghouse’s KYW Philadelphia, and he said he could make a decision on his next move as early as next week.
“I’ve been thinking about this for six months,” Vinciquerra said, adding that he didn’t want to accept another job while he was still employed, and he wanted to give notice before the CBS affiliates meeting next week.
Vinciquerra relocated to Los Angeles in part to help winnow the search for a new general manager at KCBS, and John Culliton was named to the position soon after. Vinciquerra said his decision to leave was totally his own and has nothing to do with the performance of the stations.
Even so, rumors were flying Wednesday that Vinciquerra’s departure could signal more personnel changes to follow. Fueling the speculation is the fact that profits at the CBS Station Group have lagged behind those of other network O&Os.
Also, Mel Karmazin, CEO of CBS Radio and the largest individual shareholder of Westinghouse stock, has been openly critical of the performance of the station group, and sources say he believes current management is too “complacent” and the pace of change at the network is too slow.
Leading the CBS Station Group is Jonathan Klein, who, when contacted Wednesday, said he has no plans to leave the company. A spokesman for CBS, which is unveiling its new primetime schedule today, had no comment.